Skin Care Tips for Sunburn Prevention & Sunburn Relief
Non-toxic Body Care Products
Either mix-your-own or recommended products
The "Green" Home:
Sunburn Prevention from the Inside Out:
Beta-carotene: A study shows that beta-carotene may help prevent sunburn from the inside out. Beta-carotene may reduce UV-induced erythema, and appears to modestly reduce the risk of sunburn in individuals who are sensitive to sun exposure. However, beta-carotene is unlikely to have much effect on sunburn risk in most people. Some study results conflict. Taking beta-carotene orally can reduce photosensitivity in patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), a genetic disorder resulting in defective porphyrin metabolism. It does not seem to reduce the incidence of solar keratoses or skin cancers associated with sun exposure.
Vitamin B Deficiency: If you burn easily, you may want to look at your diet. Vitamin B deficiency causes susceptibility to sunburn. Most Americans are chronically deficient in B vitamins. If you are deficient in this nutrient, taking a high-quality vitamin B supplements or eating more foods rich in this natural vitamin would be a great way to protect your skin and, at the same time, improve your overall health.
- Foods rich in beta-carotene: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale
Note: If the sunburn is very severe and blisters develop, it's best to see a doctor immediately.
- Apply directly to your face cooled raw slices of cucumber, apple or potato.
- Tea bags soaked in cool water are helpful when placed on burned eyelids.
For the Body:
Larger areas are best treated with compresses, such as a soft cloth soaked in any of the below (see what you have available in your kitchen) ...
- Apply ice compresses repeatedly to the burn area can relieve the inflammation - but don't overdo. Apply for five seconds, then release. Apply again and release, and continue as long as you want; if available add any of the below:
- apple cider vinegar
- witch hazel
- one part skim milk to four parts water
If you have sunburn over all or most of your body, a bath will help. Following are options:
- Plain, cool water
- Epsom Salts: Pour into a cool bath and soak or add to a bowl of water and apply wet compresses to the affected area. For other health benefits of Epsom Salts, please visit this website.
- Lavender & Chamomile Oils: Add about 20 to 25 drops of each oil to a bowl or a tub of cool water. Apply gently as a compress, or soak in the bath for about 10 minutes. Follow with an aloe moisturizer.
- Cool (not icy!) water with several shakes of aluminum-free baking soda (such as Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda)
- Cool (not icy) water with a gallon of milk added
- An oatmeal bath is helpful for skin irritation. Add about a cup or two of oatmeal to your bath and soak for 10 minutes. Do not dry off with a towel -- let your body air dry
Sprinkle powder or cornstarch on your sheets before you retire. This will reduce the friction of your skin with the linens.
Other Sunburn Relief Tips:
Aloe is a soothing agent and will help reduce the amount of peeling. Aloe vera juice, applied topically throughout the day, will help stem the pain and promote healing. The gel is also good for other types of burns and has soothing, cooling, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. For dry skin, mix Vitamin E oil with the Aloe Vera Juice.
Fresh gel from the leaves are superior to Aloe Vera gel bought commercially. As soon as you cut off a section, the clear gel will come oozing out and it can be applied to the sunburned skin or insect bites for relief. The plant is easy to grow in most areas. It needs, however, to be grown organically -- without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.
- How to Harvest Fresh Aloe Vera Gel - Tips on harvesting aloe vera
Strawberry juice, cucumbers, and avocados are also soothing to sunburned skin. (NOTE: Avocado is toxic to birds - do not use avocado oil is there is a chance that your bird will ingest any of it.)
Aspirin reduces inflammation and, if taken within 24 hours of the burn, will increase your chance of staving off the worst effects of sunburn.
Add the juice of 3 lemons (or 1/2 cup of distilled lemon juice) to two cups of cool water and sponge onto the burn. It will relieve the burning and also act as a disinfectant.
Chamomile or Peppermint tea have tannins that can aid healing. Brew some tea, let it cool (add ice), and apply to the burn frequently.
Unless the listed vitamins will interfere with certain specific drugs you may be taking, consider a five-day regiment of the following:
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